Microsoft gave us a sneak peek of their exclusive Xbox One title Dead Rising 3 during their press conference on Monday. Today, I caught an extended demo of the game, which promises hundreds of weapons, thousands of zombies and a sandbox city free of pesky load times.
Of course this was an early build, so the graphics were only okay. Animations and collision detection were sketchy at best, but we should expect these issues to be fixed as the game nears completion. The game absolutely did fulfill the promise of no load times. Whether we were running through the streets, traversing an underground tunnel or driving across town with zombies hanging off our car, the game never paused to load. There wasn’t so much as a stutter.
There were also zombies just… everywhere. Dead Rising has always been about getting as many zombies on screen as possible, and the third installment is no exception. Zombies are kind of a boring opponent – just gnashing, shambling, brainless blobs of flesh – but the zombies in the demo at least featured plenty of variety. At one point, we were surrounded by firemen zombies wielding fire axes. Apparently, some of the zombies in this game retain enough of their memories that they are still capable of fighting with certain weapons.
And speaking of weapons, this is really what Dead Rising is all about, isn’t it? Numero Tres in the series makes getting and upgrading weapons easy and fun. Just about everything in the game can be used as a weapon (including the zombies themselves), but throughout the world, you’ll also find “Weapons Blueprints” that will allow you to combine weapons into crazy contraptions. The demo during the Microsoft conference featured the Sledge-Saw, a combination sledgehammer and skill saw. We also saw a flaming sword and a grenade launcher made from a shotgun and some grenades. When you see these weapons in action, you realize why there are “thousands” of zombies and weapons all over the game. The better to hack, slash, shoot, chop, burn and explode them with, my dear.